Get in touch with nature
Hankyu Obayashi Station — Gokayama Archaeological Site —
Mt. Kabutoyama — Kannōji Temple — Kabutoyama Forest Park
— Landslide Museum — Hanshin Racecourse — Hankyu Nigawa Station ［11.2 km］
This route starts from Hankyu Obayashi Station and goes to Hankyu Nigawa Station by way of Mt. Kabutoyama and Kabutoyama Forest Park in Nishinomiya. The trail that goes up Kabutoyama includes steep sections with stairs—a fun challenge for the experienced hiker. The route through Kabutoyama Forest Park and the Hanshin Racecourse is recommended if you’re on a day out with the kids. The lookout in Kabutoyama Forest Park is the best place to get an incredible view of the Osaka Plain. Have lunch here.
There are plenty of other spots where you can get amazing views, such as the Gokayama Archaeological Site and the path down from Kabutoyama to Kannōji Temple. On the way back, visit the Nigawa Yurino-chō Landslide Museum and walk along the Nigawa River to the station. You could also stretch your hike a bit and go to the Hanshin Racecourse.
Note: This route passes through Nishinomiya city.
Note: Sections of the route pass through residential areas. Please walk through quietly with consideration for local residents.
The Gokayama site dates from the Yayoi Period
View from the Gokayama site
This site is what’s left of a village from the Yayoi Period (300 BC–250 AD). The remains of pit houses, pottery, and stoneware were excavated here. It’s on a hill overlooking the Nigawa area. Like us, the ancients must have savored the chance to view a scenic panorama.
Stone pagoda commemorating Minamoto no Yoritomo, who restored Kannōji
The Kabutoyama mountaintop is a pleasant flat field
Descend the mountain a bit and take in this view of Osaka
Another view from Kabutoyama
Kabutoyama is a bowl-shaped mountain that was formed about 12 million years ago following a magma eruption. Its current form is the result of erosion and tectonic activity. On the mountain trail is a stone pagoda, which is believed to have been built for 12th-century warlord Minamoto no Yoritomo. The mountaintop is a wide-open space surrounded by greenery. The path towards Kannōji gives you an enjoyable view of the city of Nishinomiya.
Kannōji was founded in the Heian Period
A view of Takarazuka from the temple’s lookout
Stone pagodas next to the steps of the temple
This Shingon Sect temple is believed to have been founded during the Heian Period (795–1185). The temple is also known as Kabutoyama Daishi, meaning “high priest of Kabutoyama.” It’s located halfway up Kabutoyama and you can get a panoramic view from the rest area on the temple grounds. If you go down the stone steps and cross the street, you’ll find a magnificent sanmon gate—perfect for taking a photo or two.
Kabutoyama in the background
A view of the Hanshin Racecourse from the park lookout
This nature-rich park has Kabutoyama in the background and ponds where you can observe plants, birds, and insects. Playground equipment is dotted throughout the park, which also offers wide-open fields and nature trails. It’s a park that all members of the family can enjoy. The lookout affords a spectacular view of the Keihanshin (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe) area.
The main entrance is full of people on race days
To go to the Space Kids area, enter from the east gate
At the Hanshin Racecourse, a park area with playground equipment is open to the public on weekdays*. And on race days, there are free pony rides and other horse-related activities that make this a popular attraction for kids.
*Please check their official website for opening days.